emo·​tion | \ i-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce emotion (audio) \

Definition of emotion

1a : a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body
b : a state of feeling
c : the affective aspect of consciousness : feeling
2a : excitement
b obsolete : disturbance

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Synonyms for emotion


chord, feeling, passion, sentiment

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Choose the Right Synonym for emotion

feeling, emotion, affection, sentiment, passion mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation. feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it. the feelings that once moved me are gone emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses. the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings. a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea. her feminist sentiments are well known passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion. revenge became his ruling passion

Examples of emotion in a Sentence

a display of raw emotion The defendant showed no emotion when the verdict was read. She was overcome with emotion at the news of her friend's death.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Because, now it’s Myers who has to find the words and emotions for a time when nothing seems right to say or feel. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ future is complicated and it’s GM Bob Myers’ job to figure it out," 14 June 2019 Burcham put the significance of the players’ achievements into perspective for the fans, and with the emotion and weight the moment deserved. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al.com, "Emotional month for Auburn, Alabama shows the power of sports," 14 June 2019 Many factors go into making political deals – ideology, self-interest, expediency and emotion to mention just a few. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: Budget decisions on safe water, health insurance defy logic," 13 June 2019 As his performance came to an end, Tyler was overcome by emotion, evoking sympathy and tears from judges and audience members alike. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Watch This 11-Year-Old North Carolina Boy’s Golden Moment from America’s Got Talent," 12 June 2019 People who understand the nuances of human emotion and behavioural science are going to give companies like us competitive advantage and these skills are not mechanisable yet. Diksha Madhok, Quartz India, "Silicon Valley CEOs? Swiggy feels made-in-India managers will deliver better," 12 June 2019 Rather, the actors play specifically black characters, drawing on their own resources of emotion and style to make those characters rich. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In Central Park, a ‘Much Ado’ About Something Big," 11 June 2019 Ruhl’s play cleverly balances emotion and logic, and Kathryn Chase Bryer’s staging in Spooky Action’s church basement space (on 16th Street NW) embraces a meditative tone. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "D.C. sniper case is the frame for ‘Forest Treás,’ an experimental show about media," 11 June 2019 After lacking so much control over her life and emotions last season, the sudden and drastic hairstyle change makes a lot of sense for the character. Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "Jane's Bangs Are The Talk Of Twitter After Big Littles Lies' Season 2 Premiere," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emotion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of emotion

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for emotion

Middle French, from emouvoir to stir up, from Old French esmovoir, from Latin emovēre to remove, displace, from e- + movēre to move

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Statistics for emotion

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emotion

The first known use of emotion was in 1579

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More Definitions for emotion



English Language Learners Definition of emotion

: a strong feeling (such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear)


emo·​tion | \ i-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce emotion (audio) \

Kids Definition of emotion

: strong feeling (as anger, love, joy, or fear) often accompanied by a physical reaction She flushed with emotion.


emo·​tion | \ i-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce emotion (audio) \

Medical Definition of emotion

1 : the affective aspect of consciousness
2 : a state of feeling
3 : a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body — compare affect

Other Words from emotion

emotional \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce emotional (audio) \ adjective
emotionality \ -​ˌmō-​shə-​ˈnal-​ət-​ē How to pronounce emotionality (audio) \ noun, plural emotionalities
emotionally \ -​ˈmō-​shnə-​lē, -​shən-​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce emotionally (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on emotion

What made you want to look up emotion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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